Polymer Clay - Magical Mushrooms
Beads – any colors you like (glass, plastic, etc)
Earring wires and eyepins
Polymer clay – any brand – red, orange, yellow, green, blue & purple (or colors of your choice)
Liquid polymer clay
Circle shaped cutters – any size
Tissue Blade (very sharp – adult supervision required!)
Clay knife, or plastic knife
Toothpick or bamboo skewer
Acrylic roller or dowel (optional)
Work surface – ceramic tile, file folder or wax paper
Oven for baking
- Condition each color of clay until soft and pliable by rolling and squeezing in your hands. Test to see if it cracks when you bend it – that means it needs more conditioning!
- Roll out an even log of purple. Start with a ball and apply even pressure with your fingers as you roll.
- Roll the blue clay into a ball and flatten. Roll it smooth with your acrylic roller or dowel. A clay dedicated pasta machine will speed up this process!!!
- Wrap the blue clay around the purple log. Trim the ends so the edges butt up evenly against each other. You can gently pull and stretch the clay if it’s a bit short. Trim off excess & roll out to smooth the surface and assure adherence of the clay.
- REPEAT steps 3 & 4 for the remaining colors. You will need more clay of each color as you go, since the log is getting bigger. I used an entire 2oz block for the red in my cane.
- Roll out the entire log until it is smooth and an even thickness. *Don’t worry if the ends get messy – trim those off!
- You have just created a bulls eye cane!!! Reduce the cane to desired size by rolling, rolling, rolling. You can gently stretch it too. Cut the cane in half if it gets too long to handle.
- Once you get it to the desired size, let it rest for about 30 minutes or put it in the refrigerator for a short time. This helps to firm it up and limit distortion when cutting.
- Roll out some of your scrap clay from trimming the ends into a flat sheet. You may use a pasta machine or your acrylic roller.
- Slice several thin slices from your cane with the tissue blade.
- Lay them on top of the scrap clay sheet, so that they are touching each other & roll smooth with the roller.
- Using your circle cutter, cut out two circles and set aside.
- Roll out some green clay (or color of your choice) into a thin sheet as in step 9.
- Cut out two circles with the same size cutter.
- Place a small ball of clay on top of each green circle (to give height) and lay the rainbow circles on top. Press the edges together and smooth out with your fingers into the desired shape for the top of your mushrooms.
- Make a small dent in the bottom center of each “mushroom top” with the flat end of the bamboo skewer & add lines if desired.
- Roll out a thin log of the green clay and cut to desired length for the stems. Press on one side as you roll for a cone shape.
- (Optional step) roll out a really thin log of green clay and flatten it. Add lines with toothpick, etc. Wrap this around each stem piece & trim for realism.
- Add a small drop of liquid clay to the dent in the top of your mushroom and insert stem – thin side goes into the dent. Trim the stem to the length you prefer.
- Insert an eyepin or wire to the top of each mushroom. You may need to trim it a bit first.
- Bake according to the manufacturer’s directions. You will need to add a drop of clear glue to the eyepins once cooled, as the clay will not adhere on its own.
- Glaze if desired. I use varathane – found in most hardware stores. For small projects, use the clay manufacturer’s glaze. The bottles are smaller & more affordable!
- Attach your charms directly to the earring wires by opening up the ring at the bottom or add an additional eyepin with beads for sparkle!
- Enjoy your new piece of jewelry for yourself or give as a fun & whimsical gift!
***Experiment with different sizes to create matching accessories!
***SAVE those pieces you trimmed off and roll them together to make swirly accent beads!
***Dark colored clay, like red, green, etc. can leave some pigment on your hands. To help keep lighter colors from turning pink, etc. handle most of the light clay first. You can also use baby wipes to clean your hands and tools (alcohol is a solvent for the clay) or wear latex gloves & switch in between colors.
***Once you use cookie cutters, pasta machine, etc for clay, it is recommended to no longer use it for food. Shop around for inexpensive cutters at your local craft store.
By Shellie Wilson. Shellie is the chief creative editor for Craftbits.